|Volume 5: Ties That Bind|
|Preceded by||Volume 4: Granting Purpose|
|Followed by||Volume 6: Prophecy Fulfilled|
Ties That Bind is the fifth volume of the Silver Diamond series.
Rakan's anger continues to grow as he realizes the suffering of various people. What gives the Imperial Prince the right to be so selfish? Also, Rakan's appearance in the world and the Sanome seed triggers a new series of events. And what of the beautiful flowers that lie in the fields from Kazuhi's necklace? What secret do they hold? The 5th volume of Silver Diamond is here. Their world needs saving, but before they can do anything...there's much to understand...
Chapter 13: FlowersEdit
The bandits show Rakan around a storeroom, handing him seeds to grow outside; they watch in awe as Rakan surrounds himself in plants. Chigusa arrives to pick Rakan up, claiming that Rakan will get tangled in the growing plants. They get in an argument over proper wording while Kazuhi and Akiichi watch. Goushi and Miya approach the pair; Miya tells Akiichi he and Kazuhi were in a cave below the guest room, which was how he and Kazuhi heard Akiichi’s pleas for the bandit leader to be killed. Miya continues, saying that if Akiichi wanted anything done, he should do it himself and not depend on other people’s power. The topic switches to why Rakan and co. were placed in the guest room. Kazuhi had been planning on stealing their weapons (specifically, Chigusa’s gun and Koh). Miya then asks Akiichi why Kazuhi would have put himself in danger when Akiichi and the other bandits had already been captured. Akiichi still thinks that Kazuhi intended on killing them, but Miya says that Kazuhi had gone to save them; nobody got hurt, and everything worked out in the end. Kazuhi denies his good intentions, and he and Akiichi make up. Rakan and his friends are watching the scene from nearby, thinking that they’re glad that they didn’t kill the bandits when they were attacked.
Some more bandits approach, and they show Rakan some of the everyday things they use: a bone lantern that burns oil for light, bone swords, and Chigusa’s goggles, whose lenses are made from the scales on a snake’s eyes. They lead the four to their supply of water underground: there are pools of saline and fresh water that they use.
Rakan decides to cook with the now-matured plants he planted a short time ago, and asks if any of them are poisonous. Narushige has Koh transform back to test them; since he’s poisonous, he’ll be able to tell if the plants he eats are also dangerous. Rakan and Narushige take over the kitchen to cook dinner for the bandits. The conversation eventually turns to what the bandits can do for Rakan’s group. Chigusa suggests that the “Frontier Guards” become the Sanome Prince’s Personal Guard, and they enthusiastically agree.
Chapter 14: GearsEdit
The chapter begins with Rakan explaining how he met Chigusa, Narushige, and Tohji, as the guards listen. After taking care of that, he asks the guards if they have a map of some sort; Kazuhi remembers looking at one a long time ago when he was bored, and Chigusa offers to find it for him with his “good eyesight”. He explains that if he knows approximately what an object looks like, he can “try” to see it. The effect is depicted as all other objects becoming transparent, leaving the desired object solid, allowing Chigusa to find where that object is located.
Chigusa easily finds the map, and it’s given to Rakan to look at. He opens it and is shocked to find that the pages of the book are black- a method of recycling paper, explains Narushige. Books were dyed black to preserve precious paper, and new text was written in white ink.
Rakan next inquires about the directions, wondering in what direction the Prince was. Chigusa again volunteers his abilities, saying that he’ll be able to find the Prince with his sight. They exit outside, and Chigusa extends his senses to observe the landscape around him, eventually focusing on the Prince in the far distance. He draws a line in the sand with gun, indicating the direction to the rest of the guards, who are have gathered and are looking on in awe. Aware that what he’s doing isn’t considered normal by any stretch of the imagination, Chigusa is rather grim. That is, until Rakan runs up to show his amazement. Rakan ends up having to explain to Chigusa that he’s praising him, and Narushige walks in to break up Chigusa’s antics of thanking Rakan “with his mouth”.
Back inside, Kazuhi discusses the Ayame Prince and Kingen Kinrei with Rakan and the rest of the group. Rakan is informed that Kinrei found the Prince, the so-called “Child of God”, 15 years ago, which has led to his enormous influence and authority today. Rakan is next told that the country they’re in is called the Amato Empire, the country of the heavens.
The Prince is seen as a god in human form; he only communicates with Kinrei, who then relates the Prince’s words to the rest of the people. Examples of this are the Prince’s prophecies, which foretell places to find water, or where plants were still growing. Because of this, and because he was considered God’s child, he became known as the Imperial Prince. The Prince’s last major prophecy was this: “Happiness is not so far away. We will be able to welcome it again. God’s awakening will shine on the sand.” The citizens of the Amato Empire have taken this to mean that the sun will someday reappear.
Tohji comments that the Ayame Prince spoke to them in Rakan’s yard, and Chigusa clarifies: the Prince hadn’t been talking to them directly, but instead had been speaking into their minds. The guards all shudder, deciding that Prince is a monster because of his ability to find hidden things and because he talks directly into peoples’ minds. Rakan stops them, however, before they can go too far, saying that Chigusa also possesses one of those things: he’s able to find hidden things. Not only that, continues Rakan, but the Prince’s big prophecy- that of a god shining on the sand- hasn’t come true yet, so they don’t know if he possesses true prophetic power. Rakan figures that his group and the Prince are evenly matched, so there wasn’t in harm in traveling to overthrow him.
Checking his watch, Rakan declares that it’s dinner time and goes outside to pick fruit to cook, much to the hilarity of the guards as the fruit spontaneously begins to grow in his hands.
While Rakan and Narushige cook, Tohji is showing his clock seed to the guards. Chigusa stops by and explains how to use it.
Far away, in the Shigeka mansion, Shigeyuki Shigeka summons her daughter, Sae, and tells her that since Sae is now useless to the Shigeka clan, Sae is to leave the house. Shigeyuki suggests to Sae that she find her brother, Narushige, and throws her outside. Sae is left in tears, wondering how much her mother hated her. Inside, Shigeyuki is seen cradling the Sanome fruit the Prince and Kinrei stole from Rakan’s yard.
Chapter 15: KnotsEdit
Rakan, Tohji, Narushige, Chigusa, and the guards are examining the black map book that Chigusa found. It has written instructions on traveling the land to the Capital. Instead of the usual diagram of the land that Rakan is used to, the book describes unique landmarks for travelers to pass on their journey. Rakan goes to fetch his notebook to copy down the directions. It’s pitch-black outside, and Rakan notices that the walls seem to be shining. Narushige says that glowing sand was painted on as a varnish to reflect light and lighten rooms. Tohji notices a crest on the wall and asks what it is. Chigusa replies that it’s probably the family crest of the people who used to live here. He explains that family names are usually inspired by the land around them, though his case was different.
As they stand in the hallway, Miya and Akiichi come to see what’s taking Rakan so long. He asks them to write their names in his notebook, and as they write, Rakan notices that, despite being Numbered Children, none of the guards have numbers in their names. After hearing Miya’s comment of renaming himself and Kazuhi, Rakan realizes that all of the guards must have done the same to get rid of the numbers in their names.
Rakan rips out a sheet of paper for all of the guards to write their names on, then flips to a new page in his notebook and begins to copy down the map. Goushi arrives and offers to take over for him, saying that he prepared a bath for Rakan and co. They accept and divide into groups of two to bathe- Rakan and Narushige, Tohji and Chigusa.
While waiting, Chigusa wanders outside and finds Kazuhi sitting by himself. He joins him, and comments that Kazuhi didn’t look like he wanted to die anymore. That when he first saw Kazuhi, he could tell that Kazuhi wouldn’t have cared if Chigusa had turned out to be the monster of legend and massacred them all. Shocked by Chigusa’s perceptiveness, Kazuhi begins to explain his position. Kazuhi had been bored by the day-in day-out monotony of his situation, and had started to stop caring about life; Akiichi and the younger guards didn’t mean anything to him. But when Rakan arrived, his entire perspective on life was turned upside-down; Rakan was a flower of hope in a world that Kazuhi thought only monsters could survive in. Chigusa smiles, saying that Kazuhi “didn’t know”. He points to Kazuhi’s forehead, and says that if he wants to do something about this world, he should open the scar on his forehead, the one that he was thrown away for. Though the world may call him a monster, Rakan would never abandon him.
Rakan arrives from his bath and thanks Kazuhi for the hot water. Kazuhi asks him again why he would go to the trouble of abandoning his old world to come to theirs, and Rakan replies that Kinrei and the Prince made him mad, saying the things they said and doing the things they did to Chigusa, Narushige, and Tohji. He felt that it was fate for him to meet the people he had and fight with them.
A commotion interrupts the conversation, and the group goes to investigate. The flowers Rakan had planted earlier were beginning to glow in the night, lighting up the area. Kazuhi realizes that the flowers came from the seeds stored in his necklace.
Chigusa and Rakan call Tohji over to look at the flowers, saying that they’re the same as his last name, Tohno. Kazuhi interrupts, filling in what Tohno means: “lighted field”, and Miya translates the original meaning of Kazuhi’s first name: “the first light”. Rakan, looking shocked, asks if Kazuhi’s full name is Tohno Kazuhi.
This omake is located after chapter 14. It is set during chapter 11, when Kazuhi appeared in front of Rakan’s group after they had captured Akiichi and the other guards. Rakan realizes he’s seen Kazuhi’s attire before, thinking that Kazuhi is dressed like Princess Mononoke.
|Tempting Persephone||N/A||Review is for the first seven volumes|